Now that the MLB season is underway and the NCAA Tournament is over, it's on to some announcing comings and goings around the country.
FS1 quietly begins its coverage of MLB with a seemingly secret prime time national game on Wednesday (4/5) when it airs the N.Y. Yankees at Tampa game. The telecast will mark the debut of the Network's newest game analyst when A.J. Pierzynski joins Kenny Albert in the booth. This figures to be a good hire for Fox Sports. The problem is if it wasn't for the announcement of hiring Pierzynski as analyst, even the most hardy of baseball fans would not have known that FS1 is doing a prime time game this week.
ESPN leads the way this week with announcements about announcers. The Network has determined its course regarding its in season NFL studio programming, determining that it will take three people to replace Chris Berman.
Monday Night Football will now have Suzy Kolber as solo host of "Monday Night Countdown" along with half-time and post-game. Kolber had been co-host, along with Berman, for each of the past two seasons.
Sunday NFL Countdown, the extended Sunday pre-game show, will now be hosted by Sam Ponder, who comes over from extensive college football coverage for ESPN. Berman had hosted the show since the 1986 season.
And, since Chris Berman is no longer hosting the NFL Draft (coming April 27 - 29), the new host has been announced as Trey Wingo, who will host all three days of live coverage. Wingo will also continue as host of "NFL Live" which airs throughout the entire year.
On the NBA side, ESPN has made it official that Michelle Beadle will be the studio host for the ESPN/ABC coverage for the post-season. Good to know that the Network finally sees the need for a legitimate broadcaster to host the studio segments instead of former players trying to host a train wreck, like what happened a couple of seasons ago.
At CBS, Tony Gonzalez will no longer serve as an NFL studio analyst after three seasons in that role.
No replacement as of press time, with rumors flying that the supposedly just retired QB Tony Romo will considered as a replacement.
CBS Sports Network will simulcast the CBS Sports Radio afternoon show "Tiki & Tierney"from 3 PM to 6 PM ET. The show, co-hosted by Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves from its previous 9 AM to Noon ET time slot, with Damon Amendolara moving from nights to the 9 AM to Noon slot on the radio side. Bill Reiter comes in to host the 6 PM to 10 PM ET spot starting on April 17th.
SAN FRANCISCO / OAKLAND: CSN Bay Area, now known as NBC Sports Bay Area, has added a new studio analyst for both its Giants and A's telecasts effective immediately.
Former Giants standout Matt Williams begins his pre-game and post-game role on Monday (April 10) for the Giants home opener. With huge interest in the Giants again this year, the Network is expanding both studio shows to up to one hour for most of the telecasts.
The A's telecasts will have Jose Canseco added to the mix as a studio analyst for both the pre-game and post-game shows.
LOS ANGELES: Opening Day of baseball season was significant because of it being the first regular season game without Vin Scully as the lead broadcaster in the Los Angeles history of the franchise.
Of course, roughly 70% of the market still cannot get the Dodgers telecasts. Adding to the struggles of the fans is the fact that the ESPN national telecast of the Dodgers opener vs. the Padres was also blacked out in the L.A. area.
CHICAGO: CSN Chicago has added Scott Podsednik to its White Sox studio coverage effective opening day, where he will also have long-time analyst Bill Melton also in studio for most of the telecasts. Hard to believe that they need two analysts for what figure to be low rated telecasts again this season.
On their radio side, a bizarre move by White Sox flagship station WLS this past Saturday (4/1), which was not an April Fool's joke. The White Sox played their final pre-season game at 1:00 that afternoon, which WLS did not broadcast. The game was televised on CSN Chicago. Yet, WLS aired its "White Sox Weekly" two hour program from Noon until 2 PM.
As a result, the final hour of their show for White Sox fans aired up against a live game on TV at the same time.
St. LOUIS: KFNS 590 has brought in longtime local sportscaster John Hadley, who had been off the air since January 2016, to be its Sports Director. Hadley, as of now, will not have a regular air shift, instead filling in as needed.
SAN DIEGO: An evening host change takes place at XEPRS Mighty 1090. Chris Cantore started on Monday (4/3) as 6 PM to 9 PM host, replacing Kevin Acee. The station was rated only 23rd overall in the market in the most recent ratings, despite a 50,000 watt signal booming in from across the Mexican border.
Ft. MYERS: WWCN 99.3 ESPN has added Craig Shemon as host of its local afternoon drive show. Shemon is expected to continue with play-by-play assignments for Fox Sports and Big Ten Network.
BEND OR: The local simulcast of Fox Sports Radio is over, as now only 94.9 carries it, as sister station 940 AM has gone off the air. 94.9 will continue to also carry Oregon State University football and basketball, as well as 49ers football.